“You are in the air I breathe and in my heart that beats… but I would give the world to have you in my arms to hold.”
- Zoe Clark-Coates
Every year on October 15th, we recognize Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day — a day to raise awareness for miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, or any other loss. It is a day we pause to remember and grieve for ourselves, for our friends, or for those we may not even know who have experienced such heartbreaking loss. So many people carry this loss with them every day, and all of us at OvuSense honor their struggle and recognize their strength.
According to experts, about 10 to 20 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage, and each year about 24,000 babies are stillborn in the United States alone. Whether or not you have endured that yourself, you likely know someone who has, and today is a day we stand with our friends, loved ones, and all the parents who have lost children to honor their memories.
Within the OvuSense — and greater fertility — community, it is days like these that we believe are particularly important for us to reflect on our support systems and remember that we are never alone. While we are here to celebrate each other's highs, we are also always here to hold and support each other at our lows. We believe that as a growing community we can continue to break the stigma around infertility and loss.
How to Cope & Communicate Around Loss:
Here are some things to remember when grieving your own loss and speaking with others who have experienced loss:
- Just because your child isn’t physically with you, doesn’t mean that they will ever be forgotten. Find your own way to celebrate or remember them — whether daily or yearly, publicly or privately — and celebrate the lasting impact they continue to have on you as a person, parent, or family.
- No matter how far along you were in your pregnancy, your loss and grief are valid and real. Remember that saying things such as “at least it was early in your pregnancy” to others doesn’t lessen their heartache. For the 1 in 8 couples who struggle with infertility, this baby may have been the result of months or years of trying.
- Just because you had (or have since had) another child, doesn’t mean that there isn’t a hole left in your heart -- and experiencing joy and love with others doesn’t mean that you’ve forgotten about what you’ve lost. Everyone is entitled to their own vision and dreams for how their family will grow.
- Don’t ignore loss, but grieve in your own way. If you have experienced loss, know that whatever you need to do is what is best. We know how lonely and overwhelming this grief can be. Find sources of light and support where you can. For others, despite how uncomfortable you may feel, remember that just simply acknowledging and showing your support for others’ loss can mean so much.
To commemorate the day, people across the world are asked to light a candle at 7 p.m., to create a literal wave of light marking the short light our babies brought to this work, and the impact they continue to have on us and our families. You can also use the hashtag #WaveOfLight if you’d like to share your story or read posts of inspiration or compassion from others. Join us in spreading a wave of light.